Agriculture has a range of opportunities for all different education levels. For some, heading straight into the workforce after graduating high school is the best option. Others may need a bachelor’s degree from a university to achieve their career goals. But if the best fit for you is to spend two years acquiring an associates degree, there are still plenty of suitable jobs in the agriculture industry. Here are five rewarding agriculture jobs that only require a two-year degree.
1. Grain Buyer
With an average annual salary just below $64,000, you can make an honest living as a Grain Buyer. A Grain Buyer would require strong interpersonal skills because they spend a lot of time building relationships with farmers. Companies will hire a Grain Buyer to negotiate grain prices and coordinate deliveries. The best part is, this career only requires an associates degree in agriculture business.
2. Construction Foreman
An associates degree gives you the upper hand with this career, and on average a Construction Foreman makes well over $62,000. They aid in building multiple different agriculture buildings while demonstrating strong leadership skills in order to lead the rest of the team into a completed project. If you’re looking to pursue this career, a two-year program in carpentry, construction, equipment operation, power technology or building systems will put you on the right track.
Tiffany Tomlin, a junior at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, joins the marketing staff, also based in Ames, for the summer as our marketing intern. Tiffany is an agricultural education major and participates as a member of the ISU Livestock Judging Team.
What do you do on a day-to-day basis in your role with AgCareers.com?
Every day I get the opportunity to work on a variety of tasks with the AgCareers.com team. Some highlight items that I am currently working on include internship surveys, Career Profile extensions, promoting the 2019 HR Roundtable, and writing content for blogs, newsletters, and the Ag and Food Career Guide.
What do you enjoy about working with AgCareers.com?
I enjoy having the freedom to take the lead on a wide variety of tasks. Through this, I am getting valuable experiences outside of what I would get in the typical classroom while having the help of the friendly AgCarees.com team when needed.
What advice would you give to job seekers using AgCareers.com for the first time?
Take advantage of the advanced search options but don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. There are countless job postings on the site and one you never would have thought of might be the perfect fit. Remember to add your resume and cover letter for even more positive exposure!
Are you stuck in a job or profession that you don’t enjoy and are looking to make a career move? Maybe you are about to graduate from college and don’t want to get stuck in a rut early in your career. With the help of my AgCareers.com teammates, we have compiled a list of career advice, so you don’t have a long list of regrets and have a successful career.
No matter your circumstances, go after what you want! If you are stuck, you can always turn things around and pursue something you are passionate about. With that being said, sometimes challenging or not so fun roles are what prepares us for our next step. Tough experiences can end up teaching us valuable lessons that we may need 10 years down the road.
Just because you have a degree or certification does not mean you are done learning. Take advantage of any learning opportunity that comes your way such as attending conferences, webinars, or unique trainings. Better yet, make sure you put what you have learned into practice! Continued education can even come from your manager or a mentor, don’t ever limit yourself and remember to keep learning because it will make you a more valuable employee at the end of the day.
In the first week of the new year I spent some time de-cluttering my social media feeds. While I did unfollow several Instagrams that no longer resonate with me, I was reminded of what individuals and organizations are sharing really great content!
1. Rural Revival ruralrevivalco
“Bringing America back to the country, one idea at a time.”
Rural Revival is fairly new to the scene and their Instagram page highlights rural communities and the people committed to ensuring their vibrancy. You’ll travel across the nation and meet rural changemakers who are making an impact.
2. Common Ground Commongroundnow
“Conversations about farming and food.”
Common Ground encourages going straight to the source–farmers and ranchers–with your food and agriculture questions. This Instagram not only shares views from the farm, but also food facts that are easy to share with others.
3. MN Millennial Farmer mnmillennialfarmer
“Family owned, 5th generation farmer in west-central Minnesota.”
The good, bad and ugly of farming. This farm owner shares it all with a dose of humor and humility.
“It’s what I’ve always known…” Growing up on his family’s livestock operation, rancher Ryan Sproul (husband of AgCareers.com Education and Marketing Specialist, Kristi Sproul) was surrounded by immediate and extended family that made their living off the land and the cattle that grazed it. Ranching has been a part of him for as long as he can remember. Now, Ryan and Kristi own Sproul Livestock, raising commercial Red Angus cows in Northwestern Oklahoma.
There’s never a typical day! I also work a full-time job as a Field Representative for the United States Senate, so I balance this with the work needing to be done with the cattle. This often means the ranch work is done during early mornings, late nights and weekends. Our operation’s work load varies by season. During the summer we are slower, while winter and spring are consumed with feeding and calving.
Since a very young age, Clay Toews (husband of AgCareers.com Talent Solutions Sales Specialist, Kacey Toews) has had a strong passion for agriculture and livestock. He grew up going to sale barns across Kansas and ever since a young age, he knew he wanted to be an Auctioneer someday. Shortly after graduating High School, he pursued that passion and has been in the auction block ever since. He also gets the pleasure of serving many customers order buying livestock.
I have been a Livestock Auctioneer and Order Buyer since 2011.
Growing up in sale barns all over Kansas really spurred my passion for livestock and that way of life and I wanted to take part in the opportunity to bring stockman and buyers together behind the auction block and in front of it. I am lucky to be able to sell the animals and provide a service to my customers.
A Veterinarian is a very popular and exciting career path, especially for those with a passion for animals. Samantha Tepley has been a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) since June 2018. She shares a little bit about what life is like as a veterinarian in Eastern Iowa.
What made you want to become a veterinarian?
I have always wanted to be in the medical field. As I had exposure to the veterinary field through my own pets I realized that being a veterinarian was the perfect combination of my love for the medical field and my passion for animals. After I started working in veterinary clinics during my summer vacations I knew it was the perfect fit for me.
What is a day in the life like for you?
I start seeing patients at 8:30 AM. After I have 2-3 appointments in the morning I perform any surgeries that were scheduled for that day, those can be anything from a spay/neuter to a mass removal to a dental procedure. After the surgeries are done I spend the rest of my day seeing patients. Some of them are sick and need to be seen because they aren’t feeling well and some of them come in for yearly wellness exams, vaccinations and testing. On the really exciting days I get to perform emergency surgery somewhere in the day. I stop seeing patients at 5:30 PM but I may be at the clinic later than that if I am tending to sick hospitalized or surgery patients or if I have to come in to see an emergency after hours.
Nearly 47 percent of U.S. workers are female. Women own close to 10 million businesses. Almost 40 percent of all managers are women, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 2016. The majority of managers in human resources, social and community services, and education administration are female (bls.gov). Those are the statistics. Gender equality at work has been an important topic in workplaces, educational institutions, and the news. But what’s the perception of women in leadership roles? Do people prefer male or female managers? Let’s look at data that illustrates how this preference has changed over the years:
90% of Dr. Ella L. J. Edmondson Bell’s female Dartmouth MBA students said that they’d prefer a male manager.
GALLUP found that both genders still preferred a male boss in 2014; 26% of men and 39% of women said they’d prefer a male boss if they were taking a new job.
Meet Jason McAlister: Director of Animal Welfare at Triumph Foods . He is also known as “The Pig Whisperer” to many in the industry. He started his career at a small local locker plant in Iowa and since then, has climbed the ladder to attain his role that he has today. Jason talks about how he got to where he is now and how to get started in the Animal Welfare industry.
What is your title and how long have you worked in your field?
My title is Director of Animal Welfare at Triumph Foods in St. Joseph, Missouri. I have been in the live harvest field since 1993 starting in a local locker plant in Gilbertville, Iowa to IBP and Tyson. I was recruited by Triumph Foods in 2007.
What made you want to become a Director of Animal Welfare?
I have a passion for learning and passing my knowledge on to those around me. Leadership is a family trait; my Grandfather was a General Foreman for Firestone Tires. My father and mother both were managers and naturally I do the same. I think this is where my passion for training others comes from.
What is a day in the life like for you?
The majority of my day is consumed with problem solving and interacting/training my employees. I start each day in the barns visiting with each employee followed by staff meetings and visiting support areas. I like to be seen in each department daily (HR, the clinic, employment, and accounting). Visits with these folks is sometimes required but mostly it is just team/relationship building when you depend on these teams to be successful it is important that they know you care about their needs and don’t just come around when you need something.
Rita Cook always knew she wanted to work with farmers. She recently returned to her home county to work as an Ag Loan Officer in Iowa Falls, Iowa with Green Belt Bank & Trust where she has been for one year. Rita talks about what she has learned in her first year of work as an ag loan officer and her advice for those interested in the career path.
What made you want to become an ag loan officer?
I grew up on a diversified grain and livestock farm in Iowa, and knew I wanted to work hands-on with farmers to help them be successful. The bank had an opening for an ag lender. It was a perfect fit to combine my passion of helping farmers with lending.
What is a day in the life like for you?
A lot of days are spent meeting with customers or visiting with them on the phone. I work with customers to update their balance sheets, put together projected cash flows for the coming year, and then analyze those numbers. Once the analysis is done, I present the customer’s request to our internal loan review committee for approval. There’s a lot of leg work that goes on behind the scenes, especially if a farmer is purchasing farm ground or a putting up a livestock barn.